Growth the new CIO buzzword for 2011: Gartner

Growth is the word on CIOs lips this year, according Gartner Executive Program's annual CIO agenda survey, as organisations look to create new products and services and attract new customers.

The trend is in contrast to 12 months ago, when chief information officers were largely concerned with improving business processes and cutting costs. But it's not all blue skies -- CIOs in Australia and New Zealand reported an annual increase in budgets of only 1.7 per cent.

And when it comes to ANZ priorities for 2001, it's probably no surprise that Cloud computing is the big technology mover -- climbing five places from last year to take the number one spot. Mobile technologies, networking and voice and data communications also ranked highly.

In terms of business priorities, increasing enterprise growth ranked top both throughout ANZ and globally. Australian organizations are particularly looking creating new products and services through innovation.

According to Gartner Executive Programs, the modest budget increases mean local CIOs are continuing to look at new 'lighter weight' technologies to deliver results for their organisation.

"2010 saw many economies around the world move from recession to recovery, with enterprises transitioning their strategies from cost-cutting to productivity," vice-president and distinguished analyst, John Roberts, said in a statement. "As Australia and New Zealand weren't trying to climb out of the global recession, we saw a much greater difference in priorities between local firms and those in the US or Europe; however, this year they are more closely aligned with their global counterparts as recovery continues."

The push for growth in 2011 is changing the emphasis as CIOs look to redefine the essential elements of IT from infrastructure, to cost structure, people and processes, Roberts said.

The Gartner survey of 2014 CIOs worldwide included 122 respondents from Australia and New Zealand and was conducted in December 2010.

The average budget increase for ANZ CIOs was slightly better than the nominal 0.9 per cent worldwide average increase, although the number of CIOs experiencing budget increases in 2011 outnumbered those reporting a cut.

However, only 31 per cent of local CIOs reported a budget increase compared to 40 per cent of CIOs globally. And 20 per cent of ANZ CIOs reported their budget would decrease from 2010 levels compared to 16 per cent globally.

"The resource realities of this budget raise the importance of adopting new infrastructure and operations technologies that offer similar service levels at lower costs, such as virtualisation and cloud services," Roberts said.

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